I'm a Poor College Student - Should I Buy a Current Refurb or Wait For the New Model?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by clortho, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. clortho macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    #1
    Hi there!

    I'm a huge Mac fan. Have been for years. I have a 3G and an 80GB Classic, and now am looking for a regular computer to accompany them.

    Currently I have an old Dell that's on it's last leg. I want a MacBook, for school work and for leisure. I can get the $100 school discount, then another $100 off for it being a refurb. That's good. I'm buying the laptop completely upfront since I don't qualify for financing, so I want something reasonable but the best bang for my buck.

    I know a new model is supposed to be coming out before year's end.. and I plan on purchasing said comp next month. I don't know what to do, though. Do I go this route, or wait for a new one? I'm very anxious.. so any help is appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Danger! Will macrumors regular

    Danger! Will

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona USA
    #2
    I'm not sure you can combine the student and refurbished discounts together. I'm a poor college student too on the same boat you are and I'm going to wait it out. The latest for the refresh should be November. Save some more money and buy one then. I'm the meantime put Ubuntu on your Dell.
     
  3. NeoMayhem macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 22, 2003
  4. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #4
    Buy it new, but don't open; get the iPod touch fill out the rebate; cash the rebate; return everything for a refund. Then wait til after the new release and buy a computer with a student discount. Enjoy—I'm not endorsing this.
     
  5. clortho thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    #5
    That deal ends like next week and I'm not going one until next month when I have the money for one.
     
  6. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #6
    I'd suggest that you wait for the updates and then go for a refurb - it will have all of the benefits of being new, Apple testing, warranty, etc; in any case, I doubt very much that the student discount will apply for refurbs - you will be eligible for one or the other, not both.
    Cheers and good luck
     
  7. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #7
    The updated MacBooks will be released a long time after the iPod promotion ends.
     
  8. hogfaninga macrumors 65816

    hogfaninga

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    Location:
    Chestnut Tree Cafe
    #8
    They will make you pay the rebates back if you try to pull that con off. They have already been asked about it and their associates have been told what to do. My wife's best friend works for them.
     
  9. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
    In my imagination
    #9
    Don't try the rebate thing because they will ask for the check back if you try to return the computer. If you cash it then you will be keeping the machine, which won't be bad by the way.

    I say wait for the new models and go refurbished. I doubt the new MacBooks will be screamingly fast at MS Office/iWork and Safari, so the current models are great. The only thing that would needed to be added to the Mac Books that would make buying new a plus would be dedicated GFX cards.

    You can't get both the student and refurbished discount either, so you'll have to pick one. You are still eligible for the Apple Care discount on refurbed stuff, so I say go refurbed since you can sometimes get up to $200 or so off a certain machine.

    And if you are buying a laptop, spend the $183 on Apple Care and don't be a fool, or listen to the fools that will tell you otherwise.
     
  10. Schtumple macrumors 601

    Schtumple

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
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    benkadams.com
    #10
    Go the refurb route, I saved enough money to get applecare and a new battery. There's nothing wrong with refurbs, they're just used, but you can't really tell...
     
  11. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

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    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
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    #11
    They are actually better than the new ones in lots of ways. They get sent back to Apple because someone found s dead pixel or because the box was opened.

    They get cleaned, opened and fully tested then repackaged and sold online. The new models get tested in batches, of if one out of 50 works, the entire batch gets approved.

    When I need that Nehalem Mac Pro, I am hoping to find a refurbished one.
     
  12. Schtumple macrumors 601

    Schtumple

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    Jun 13, 2007
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    benkadams.com
    #12
    Exactly the only "problems" I found on mine was 2 very tiny dings, and I'm pretty sure one was caused by me :p Other than that, you can't tell it's a refurb.
     
  13. hogfaninga macrumors 65816

    hogfaninga

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    Aug 16, 2008
    Location:
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    #13
    If I didn't get the free ipod touch and the educators discount I would of bought the refurbs.. I have a lot of friends that bought them and had no problems. I just wanted a ipod touch and it was basically free.

    That being said, I can understand why someone would want the brand new ones with the new box especially if it is their first Mac.. I have been told you get a little more resell money if you have the original box. With the refurb you don't get the original box. Most people don't care about that anyway probably.
     
  14. clortho thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    #14
    Hmm. With the refurbs I thought you got an original Mac and all the original packing materials. Not that it would matter much, since I wouldn't get rid of it ever.

    I'm sure the refurbs for the new models will take awhile to be put on the site, no?
     
  15. MacBass macrumors 6502

    MacBass

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Location:
    La Crosse, WI
    #15
    When I got my refurbed Nano, it just came in a brown box with non-original packing materials. Didn't matter though, with the amount of money I saved on the nano itself. Packaging is nothing.
     
  16. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

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    Location:
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    #16
    When you buy refurbished, you get the same packaging. All the same stuff in the box too. Nothing is really different.

    If you don't, maybe they changed it since i bought my last Mac which was about a year ago.
     
  17. hogfaninga macrumors 65816

    hogfaninga

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    Location:
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    #17
    They changed it then because you don't get the original box.
     
  18. MacNichi macrumors newbie

    MacNichi

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    Sep 10, 2008
    Location:
    Brighton Beach, Melbourne, Australia
    #18
    Why not at all! :rolleyes:
     
  19. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #19
    You need it for college, and you need it as soon as term starts. Ideally you should have bought it at the start of a holiday, as struggling with a new year's worth of work load plus getting used to a brand new OS is not ideal.

    Rumours now say the new model will come out on Oct 14th, but it could be delayed past that. Then it will take another month or two for the refurb of the new model to start appearing in the refurb store. That could mean waiting still Xmas. That might be OK if you won't have the money till Xmas anyway.

    Something else to consider is that heavily revised new models often have teething issues.

    If you can, I suggest buying a refurb of the current macbook as it's a mature model, many of the problems have been sorted out, and the last update was only a few months ago. That'll give you the most time to get used to it. Go for 2GB or 4GB RAM, that really helps Leopard to fly too. (don't get it from Apple, get it from OWC or similar. Wait for the refurb to arrive too, as some lucky people have received refurbs with more RAM in them than the shop specs stated)

    Don't forget you need to allocate money or time for the software you need for college, plus a laptop case, plus an external backup drive. It's suicide to have your college files on a single disk without backup. Time Machine is fab for this. (You might be able to extract your Dell drive and put it in a cheap 2.5'' usb case, and use it for Time Machine)

    If you have a friend who's at university, hmm, they might be able to get the HE discount on a new macbook, plus 3 year free warranty, then sell the package to you. That might be cheaper than a refurb for the whole package.

    Another option is just to buy last year's model from someone here on MR / Craigs list. Try to meet up before buying, and check over the laptop before handing your money over. Any C2D model macbook is fabulous and will still last for a long time.

    Hope that helps. I have much sympathy for poor students who want Apple laptops - I was one myself.

    -T
     

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